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Instant Pot Cincinnati Chili

The sweet and savory flavors in this Instant Pot Cincinnati Chili is the reason this chili recipe is iconic – it’s delicious!

Cincinnati Chili, also known as Empress Chili or Skyline Chili gets piled up on top of spaghetti noodles and served with loads of cheese and red kidney beans.

A plate of Instant Pot Cincinnati Chili topped with kidney beans and shredded cheese.

RELATED: Instant Pot Firehouse Chili

What’s in Cincinnati-Style Chili?

Cincinnati-style chili isn’t your conventional chili! It’s not Texas-style chili or even classic chili with beans. This style of chili has both sweet slices and savory seasonings to create a flavorful chili sauce.

  • Ground beef (at least 80/20) – the leaner the better. Since the meat isn’t sauteed, it prevents an excess amount of grease from being left in the chili. Or, if the chili is cooled and served for later, the fat will rise to the top and it can be skimmed off before reheating and serving.
  • Onion – diced
  • Garlic cloves – freshly minced garlic cloves. A garlic press is a great tool to make mincing garlic easily.
  • Chili powder
  • Cumin
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Allspice
  • Cayenne
  • Ground cloves
  • Salt
  • Beef stock
  • Tomato sauce
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Tomato paste
  • Granulated sugar
  • Worchestershire sauce
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder
Skyline Chili with spaghetti twirled around a fork on a plate.

Instant Pot Cincinnati Chili Directions

Dump the ingredients in the inner liner- This recipe is a dump and start Instant Pot recipe with no sauteing required. The first step is to uncooked ground beef to the inner liner. Top with the diced onion and minced garlic.

Add the seasonings- Once the onions and garlic are added to the beef, sprinkle the chili powder, cumin, ground cinnamon, allspice, cayenne, cloves, and salt on top of the beef.


Sprinkle the granulated sugar and the unsweetened cocoa powder on top.


Add the liquids to the pot- Pour in the Worchestershire sauce, tomato paste, and tomato sauce. Top with the beef stock. Don’t stir.

Pressure Cook- Close the lid and pressure cook on MANUAL/PRESSURE COOK for 10 minutes.
Allow the Instant Pot to naturally release (NR) pressure for 10 minutes before removing the lid.

Break up the ground beef- Remove the lid and stir to break up the ground beef or use an immersion blender to get the desired consistency.

Serve- Serve over spaghetti, shredded cheese, and/or onions and red kidney beans.

Instant Pot Cincinnati Chili on a plate with pasta, kidney beans, and shredded cheese.

Authentic Cincinnati Chili

When making authentic Cincinnati chili there’s no sauteing involved. The ground beef is added to the pot with the other ingredients and then cooked until all of the flavors are married into the sauce mixture.

One of my favorite ways to break up the meat and crumble it is to use a meat chopper. It will easily break apart and crumble into the sauce.

The seasonings found in this iconic chili are both sweet and savory. Mediterranean flavors mingle with cocoa powder served on a bed of spaghetti noodles.

Cincinnati Chili on a white plate with cheese, kidney beans, and spaghetti in the background.

There are three ways to eat this Instant Pot Cincinnati Chili classic:

3-way – chili topped with cheese on a bed of spaghetti.

4-way – chili topped with cheese on a bed of spaghetti with either onions or beans.

5-way – chili topped with cheese on a bed of spaghetti and topped with onions and beans.

If serving this style of chili with pasta isn’t your thing, serving it on hotdogs is another delicious way to eat this Instant Pot Cincinnati Chili.

Instant Pot Cincinnati Chili served on a white decorative plate.

Dump and Start Instant Pot Recipe

There is no sauteing involved when making this Instant Pot Cincinnati Chili recipe. Everything is dumped into the inner liner of the Instant Pot, even the ground beef, and then pressure cooked.

Once the pressure cooking time is finished, the pot naturally releases pressure for 10 minutes, and then the lid is removed.

Once the lid is removed, if the chili is too thin for your liking, it can be sauteed until it is as thick as you would like.

What is Skyline Chili Dip?

Skyline chili dip is a super easy dip made with Cincinnati Style Chili, cream cheese, and shredded cheese. This recipe for Skyline Chili Dip can be found here and it’s a delicious dip for game days or parties.

Skyline Chili with spaghetti twirled around a fork on a plate.

Instant Pot Cincinnati Chili

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Natural Release: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

The sweet and savory flavors in this Instant Pot Cincinnati Chili is the reason this chili recipe is iconic - it's delicious!

Ingredients

  • 1 lb lean ground beef (at least 80/20)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon Worchestershire sauce
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup beef stock

Instructions

    1. Place the uncooked ground beef in the inner liner.
    2. Top with the diced onion and minced garlic.
    3. Sprinkle the chili powder, cumin, ground cinnamon, allspice, cayenne, cloves, and salt on top of the beef.
    4. Sprinkle in the granulated sugar and the unsweetened cocoa powder.
    5. Pour in the Worchestershire sauce, apple cider vinegar, tomato paste, and tomato sauce.
    6. Top with the beef stock. Do not stir.
    7. Close the lid and pressure cook on MANUAL/PRESSURE COOK for 10 minutes.
    8. Allow the Instant Pot to naturally release (NR) pressure for 10 minutes before removing the lid.
    9. Remove the lid and stir to break up the ground beef or use a meat chopping tool to break up the meat.
    10. If desired, set the pot to Saute to thicken the chili. Press cancel.
    11. Serve over spaghetti, and garnish with shredded cheese, onion, and/or red kidney beans.

Notes

There are three ways to eat this Instant Pot Cincinnati Chili classic.

3-way - chili topped with cheese on a bed of spaghetti.

4-way - chili topped with cheese on a bed of spaghetti with either onions or beans.

5-way - chili topped with cheese on a bed of spaghetti and topped with onions and beans.

This chili can also be served over hotdogs.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 228Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 67mgSodium: 777mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 3gSugar: 5gProtein: 24g

Nutrition calculation is a rough estimate and can vary depending on the cooking technique and the exact ingredients used. For informational purposes only.

Did you make this recipe?

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Ingrid

Sunday 31st of July 2022

I can't read the recipe due to pop ios and the huge share buttons on the left. :/

Diana

Tuesday 12th of July 2022

I can’t wait to try this! Living in Louisville, I grew up on this chili. Can ground turkey be substituted for ground beef in this recipe? My husband can’t eat beef.

Dana

Tuesday 19th of July 2022

Yes, you can substitute beef for turkey :)

Lisa

Wednesday 11th of May 2022

Can I double the recipe in the Instant pot and have it come out okay?

Dana

Wednesday 11th of May 2022

You can! You will want to make sure to double the liquid as the pasta will absorb it.

Swathi

Tuesday 15th of February 2022

This instant pot chili looks delicious.

Dave

Saturday 12th of February 2022

You forgot to add the acv to the directions. Look forward to tasting it, waiting for nr to finish

Dana

Saturday 12th of February 2022

Ahh good catch. Thank you! Enjoy!!

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